This is a one-part interview with Charles (another St. Johns High School Boy) who will be attending Duke this upcoming fall.

Transcript 

Kamila 

Hey college kids. 

Kamila 

Welcome back to my podcast. 

Kamila 

Who cares about College in today’s episode I’ll be interviewing Charles so if you could introduce yourself. 

Charles 

Hi, I’m Charles. I’m from Massachusetts, Boston area. I’m a senior in high school. I go to Saint John’s prep. 

Charles 

I am a white male. 

Charles 

He him pronouns. 

Kamila 

And you got into Duke University, which is what I’ll be interviewing you about. 

Kamila 

Yep, all right. 

Kamila 

So let’s get like the first like basic stuff out of the way in terms of how you grew up and how what the expectations were for you so. 

Kamila 

Give me like I guess, an overview of like if your parents are educated. 

Kamila 

If you have like siblings who are like you know in college and university and then growing up. 

Kamila 

What was the expectation for you in terms of going into high school with like grades and extracurriculars and then actually going to college or university? 

Charles 

Yes, so I’ll. 

Speaker 4 

Start off with. 

Charles 

My parents, my father went to University of Virginia and then he did a law degree at Vanderbilt. 

Charles 

And my mom went. 

Charles 

Locally to a school Wheaton College. 

Charles 

And then, as per expectations growing up, I don’t really feel like my parents put too much pressure on me. 

Charles 

Really they don’t like. 

Charles 

Helicopter parents wandering my grades all the time or anything like that. 

Charles 

It was mostly kind of up to me and whatever I want to accomplish and explore in high school. 

Charles 

And then I. 

Charles 

Also have a sister. 

Charles 

She’s four years older than me. 

Charles 

And she went to University of Denver. 

Charles 

She had a great time there. 

Charles 

Yeah, sure. 

Kamila 

And then growing up, going into high school where you’ve just basically like a straight A student like all your life, you’re a pretty good student. 

Speaker 4 

Uhm, yeah, I was always. 

Charles 

A strong student in middle school, I came over to the high school and has a middle school so I came there in 6th grade. 

Charles 

So it was a pretty smooth transition into. 

Charles 

High school I. 

Charles 

Was also just named valedictorian for my class, so I did maintain good grades and stuff the whole time. 

Kamila 

OK, so. 

Kamila 

So obviously you have a sister. 

Kamila 

You said she’s four years older than you, and obviously I’ve interviewed Henry and I’ve interviewed Tyler as well, so I know a little bit about your high school, but can you tell us about your high school itself, what programs they have in place? 

Kamila 

Like you know, API B stuff like that and what resources they have for students in terms of the college process. 

Kamila 

So we know like what you came into and what. 

Kamila 

You had to help you. 

Speaker 4 

Yeah, so uhm, my school does the EP curriculum. 

Charles 

Uhm, offering a wide range and all. 

Charles 

All the calculus submission of Sciences AP Bio AP Physics if you can, and then ask for guidance. 

Charles 

We have a very good system set up. 

Charles 

I had kind of a different scenario in my high school experience ’cause my original guidance counselor the first two years left so I had to like transition to a new one. 

Charles 

Midway through high school, which I think I’ve made a start, wasn’t quite as close with my guidance. 

Charles 

Counselors, other people. 

Charles 

Were but they definitely have a good set up. 

Charles 

I don’t think guys. 

Charles 

Counselors have more than like. 

Charles 

Uh, maybe 50 people. 

Charles 

They’re dealing with or hundreds, so it’s like pretty easy to get time with them. 

Charles 

If you need it. 

Kamila 

OK, and one more thing before we actually get into your grades, extracurriculars and such. 

Kamila 

I don’t know if this is like you were just mentioning like the APS that your school had, but you did mention mainly like math and science APS going into high school. 

Kamila 

Were you sure of pursuing something in the stem like stem industry? 

Charles 

Yeah, I don’t think I was sure. 

Charles 

I mean, I enjoy all subjects. 

Charles 

My dad is actually a high school English teacher and Chelsea and you’re here. 

Charles 

So, so I mean I I enjoy English. 

Charles 

I enjoy history too. 

Charles 

But I mean, I’m definitely kind of a bit more geared toward the math and sciences, but I appreciate all kind of subjects. 

Charles 

I think everything is interesting. 

Charles 

Yeah, definitely. 

Kamila 

Right so. 

Kamila 

Alright, so let’s 

Charles 

Right from the start. 

Kamila 

Sorry, go ahead, go ahead. 

Kamila 

Go ahead, you go ahead. 

Charles 

I was definitely from the start. 

Charles 

Kind of just like. 

Charles 

Geared in that direction. 

Kamila 

Alright, so let’s get into your grades, your test scores and stuff like that so you don’t have to list out all the AP’s that you took, but upon application. And this can include senior. 

Kamila 

Year as well. 

Kamila 

How many APS did you have to show colleges and then in the end, what was your weighted and then unweighted GPA that you submitted? 

Charles 

Uhm, yeah, so for APS. 

Charles 

I think I’ve put down 13 on or like in the common app, but some of them are like future ones. 

Charles 

Do you actually have a score yet right? 

Charles 

Do you do that or no? 

Kamila 

You mean like once you started senior year or? 

Charles 

Yeah, like once I’m taking this year I put down is like. 

Charles 

In my I I took probably. 

Charles 

Yeah, I know a lot of AP’s and then As for GPA I I think unweighted was a 4.0 and then we did with like a 4.76 or something. 

Kamila 

OK, and then you also mentioned that you’re valedictorian, and like obviously tops when you go to a top school, you’re going to be like a top of your class. 

Kamila 

But like it’s not every day you like get a valedictorian so as a valedictorian, do you have any respect? 

Kamila 

What exactly do you have any responsibilities? 

Kamila 

Do you have any like duties or it’s just like a title? 

Kamila 

Like oh, you were top. 

Charles 

Yeah, so they are my school name Saga torian and valedictorian, and they both have roles in commencement at our graduation, so I’ll be giving I, I think, like a 9 minute speech or so, and then I see, yeah, that’s one responsibility I have. 

Charles 

That’s the main one, I think. 

Kamila 

OK, alright so it’s not like much, it’s really just a title and you just. 

Kamila 

Speak at. 

Kamila 

Yeah OK, alright. So let’s go on to SAT or asked so number one. Which one did you take and then when did you start like when did it come to your mind? When did you start preparing for it? 

Charles 

Oh yeah, so I took the essay TI really took practice tests for both kind of testing out the waters. 

Charles 

The ECT was just way too quick pace time. I just couldn’t work that fast and like answer all the questions but so is having troubling. Finishing the test. So the S80 definitely worked better for me. 

Charles 

Uhm, I took it. 

Charles 

I think 2 times or three times and I got a 1530 in the end of 790 on math and a 740 on English. 

Charles 

My bride initially got like I think I got a 7090 on math like the first or second time I took it, and then I tried to study law and do better on English, but I ended up only doing 20 points better. 

Charles 

But I mean I. 

Charles 

Was still happy with my score was getting. 

Kamila 

That English section will just kill your S80 screen honestly. Oh my God alright so so 1530 S 80 really good GPA. 

Kamila 

Alright, let’s go to extracurriculars now so you can take it from here. 

Kamila 

Can you give me like a list of at least not like every single little extracurricular? 

Kamila 

That you did, but at least the few main ones that you did do. 

Kamila 

And then we’ll. 

Kamila 

Kind of like. 

Kamila 

I guess we’ll say deep dive into each one, so if you can give a general list and then we’ll talk individually about each. 

Charles 

Yeah OK so extra cricket it was. 

Charles 

I’d say my biggest one is probably I have my own commercial lobstering business during the summer I’ve done for like 5 years commercially for the past three. 

Charles 

Uh, also I play tennis year round on varsity at the prep and during when it’s not the spring season I’m playing year round at like indoor facilities during tournaments and stuff. 

Charles 

Kind of think about what I put. 

Charles 

It’s kind of hurt on the spot, uhm? 

Charles 

I did some like NHS tutoring stuff. 

Charles 

Uh, I worked with one kid in particular, Mike, uh. 

Charles 

And mostly like physics. 

Charles 

What else? 

Charles 

Uh, I’m a member of the Spire society at my school, which is? 

Charles 

They help with like? 

Charles 

Tours and stuff actually happen tomorrow morning. 

Kamila 

Did you say aspire? 

Charles 

It’s called Spire society. 

Charles 

Our schools. 

Charles 

It’s a Catholic school. 

Charles 

It has like one of the buildings, has a big spider on it, so it’s kind of like I don’t know. 

Charles 

Part of our school spirit, the Spire so, but basically Spire. 

Charles 

Just dumb. 

Charles 

They help a lot with student organizing events. 

Charles 

Alumni relations bringing in new students for tours or like hosting a freshman trivia night. 

Charles 

Or something like that, just. 

Charles 

Uhm, and making people feel welcome and building the. 

Charles 

Uh, community up. 

Kamila 

So, and this is more like a beginning of like fall and not fall like like spring when like people are looking at the school and then fall when they first come into the. 

Kamila 

School, so it’s not like one whole year round thing. 

Charles 

Yeah, I mean. 

Charles 

It’s I mean, there’s always kind of events going on, but yeah, there’s definitely concentrating those areas. Like I said tomorrow, I I’m giving, I think, a few chores tomorrow morning at 9:30 so. 

Kamila 

All right, all right. 

Kamila 

And do you do that because you like genuinely like it or is it like part of your school’s like requirement? Like each student needs to do something like service E related? 

Charles 

No, it’s not a requirement at all. 

Charles 

You apply for it. 

Charles 

I mean, they definitely like advertise it a lot. 

Charles 

They want people to join. 

Charles 

But no, it’s huge. 

Charles 

It’s like they send out a Google thing and you like fill it out. 

Charles 

And then they either. 

Charles 

Say you’re in or you’re out. 

Charles 

And then I think basically everyone gets in and then you help out so they want. 

Charles 

You to help out. 

Kamila 

Alright, so let’s go into this lobster business. 

Kamila 

Never heard, ever heard of a? 

Kamila 

Interview anyway, so I’m gonna save that for last, so let’s talk about NHL. 

Kamila 

I mean, you can give a little like what is it like a little, I guess segment on like what NHL is and what exactly you have, but I think it’s like pretty standard so we won’t take too much time on NHL and then we can talk about tennis and then we’ll talk about your lobster business. 

Kamila 

So if you could tell us a little bit about what NHL is and what your responsibilities are. 

Speaker 4 

So National Honor Society. 

Charles 

Uhm, it’s you have to maintain a certain GPA and also have service hours to. 

Speaker 4 

Qualify for it at our. 

Charles 

School and at our school you can’t join until your sophomore year. 

Charles 

And then basically it’s UM. 

Charles 

Like an award or a title you have, but then it also gives you opportunities. 

Charles 

As I mentioned before where you can. 

Charles 

Function as a tutor for they have. 

Charles 

Both people who go over to the middle school. 

Charles 

Like twice a week. 

Charles 

As a program then you can also just. 

Charles 

Help other high schoolers and grades below you with tutoring. 

Charles 

So that’s the main role. 

Kamila 

Yeah natures is like for anyone who’s like listening, doesn’t know it. 

Kamila 

There’s a lot of stuff you can do at my school they have like forms and you can like go to random events in your city and like. 

Kamila 

Do like service hours and stuff alright? 

Kamila 

So let’s Yep. 

Kamila 

So let’s go onto tennis. 

Kamila 

You say you. 

Kamila 

Do that year round. 

Kamila 

When did you start tennis like? 

Kamila 

Was it just a high school thing or you’ve been doing this all your life? 

Charles 

Ah yeah, both my parents played tennis, so I kind of grew up playing. 

Charles 

I probably didn’t really start playing until I was like 11 ish. 

Charles 

Uh, then I played in throughout middle school. 

Charles 

Uh, and then high school freshman year I was OK, but I didn’t make varsity and I’d say it was like kind of after that. 

Charles 

During sophomore year I started playing more seriously. 

Charles 

That was when I went to the current club. 

Charles 

I play at the Manchester Athletic Club Mac or otherwise known as the Academy where there’s a lot of really, really good players so. 

Charles 

It’s fun to train with them there and and nowadays I’m doing like. 

Charles 

Four days a week there ish and then like tomorrow I’m playing in two matches tomorrow afternoon so. 

Kamila 

Oh, so you’re not just like verse at your school. 

Kamila 

You actually have like a separate club outside of school are you? 

Kamila 

Are you a recruited athlete? 

Charles 

No, no I’m not. 

 Kamila 

OK, OK. 

Charles 

I’m not playing you on tennis. 

Charles 

I’m not that good. 

Charles 

Those kids aren’t. 

Charles 

Then no, I’m so yeah, it’s just like a completely separate thing. 

Charles 

You know there’s like club soccer teams or something that aren’t. 

Charles 

They’re all filled with the school at all. 

Charles 

It’s just like a. 

Charles 

A completely separate entity. 

Charles 

They have their own tennis pros there and everything. 

Charles 

The only time playing for the practice for the three months in the spring, so I think we’ll be starting. 

Charles 

Probably like March 30th. 

Charles 

The team as soon as. 

Charles 

The snow starts getting off the courts will. 

Charles 

Just start it up and then. 

Charles 

We’ll go into like. 

Charles 

June Ish mid June. 

Charles 

Depending on how we do in states. 

Kamila 

And I do have a quick like few questions about sports. 

Kamila 

Well first, let’s get to like the Academy that you actually train it. 

Kamila 

So when you. 

Kamila 

Train there like are you you? 

Kamila 

You’re competing but you’re not like being recruited. 

Kamila 

OK can you? 

Kamila 

Explain how that works. 

Kamila 

I’m not very well versed in sports. 

Speaker 4 

Yeah no, I just. 

Charles 

So I go to. 

Charles 

I practiced there like two or three days a week from 4 to 7 at night. 

Charles 

Uhm, it’s just a lot of. 

Charles 

Of basically hitting like workouts, there’s also like a sports psychologist who talks too much of the time and it’s just yeah, it’s just focus on getting better. 

Charles 

It’s not, I’m not. 

Charles 

Trying to go pro or anything, but I just I really enjoy the game. 

Charles 

It’s a good way. 

Charles 

To get exercise. 

Charles 

And there’s a lot of like. 

Charles 

Friends there who I can hang out talk with. 

Charles 

It’s just a good time, yeah. 

Kamila 

And when you do, when you do like a sport like a specific sport, I know a lot of people who do it outside of school. 

Kamila 

Also do it inside of school. 

Kamila 

So when you’re writing your college app and you’re saying. 

Kamila 

I played tennis. 

Kamila 

Do you say that? 

Kamila 

Do you make it like a separate extracurricular like I play Varsity tennis for my school and then I play for this club that’s not affiliated? 

Kamila 

Or do you just put it under like one thing? 

Charles 

I think I just did one thing. It’s like those things are so frustrating ’cause you only have like a like 100 characters or something, but so it’s really hard. You have, like all jammed into a few senses, I think I. 

Charles 

At the end of last year was named like there’s a local 10 newspaper I was named like a tennis All Star like a sports Salem Sports All Star thing or whatever. 

Charles 

So I listed that I think and I just said. 

Charles 

Plays a year round tennis competitively like varsity for the prep and then was named a tennis like. 

Charles 

Sound news All Star or something, so I just. 

Charles 

Kind of compacted it there. 

Kamila 

And then when you do play for your when you play for your like own school and like, obviously it’s not just you playing like it’s your like team team like playing. 

Kamila 

So when you guys let’s say like go to states or something, what do you like? 

Kamila 

Write down. 

Kamila 

Do you just say like Oh my team and I want at states? 

Charles 

Oh yeah, we didn’t win state so I didn’t. 

Charles 

We didn’t have. 

Charles 

Any like we won the? 

Charles 

UM, our local like Catholic conference. 

Charles 

So we were the Catholic conference champions last year, which we usually win. 

Charles 

States is a lot more competitive. 

Charles 

Also our team the past years hasn’t been as good as it was in the past years, but this year I think we’re going to be. 

Charles 

I have an actual shot at it. 

Kamila 

Alright, well I wish you best of luck since that is you said you’re coming up soon, alright? 

Kamila 

So let’s go on to your lobster business. 

Kamila 

I don’t even know what questions to ask from here, so you just when did you start? 

Kamila 

How did you start? 

Kamila 

I’m you’re in Massachusetts, or kind of make a little bit of sense. 

Charles 

Yeah yeah, so I live in Marblehead which is a coastal town. It’s probably I could walk to the water in like a minute and 1/2. I wanted to, so I’ve always been around the ocean and I loved the, uh. 

Charles 

I think I was first exposed to option. 

Charles 

Do you know like the general idea of it, like lobster traps and all? 

Charles 

It’s basically there’s like metal cages, and then there’s a buoy attached with the rope going up to the surface and then there’s live lobsters. 

Charles 

Enter and then there’s a bait bag that’s called the kitchen, and then when they try to get out, they get lost. 

Charles 

They end up in the parlor just when you pull it up and then they’re there. 

Charles 

Uhm, so I was first introduced to what I think by probably in middle school I had a friend who had a little Boston whaler boat and he went out and did that so he first exposed me to and then I kind of fell in love with it from there. 

Charles 

And then I have a little 19 foot center console boat. 

Charles 

And uhm, the first three years I did, I decided recreational license, which means you can have a maximum of 10 traps. 

Charles 

Uhm, but then three. 

Charles 

Years ago I got yeah student commercial license. 

Charles 

Uhm, well you can have up to 25 traps and you can sell your catch to like wholesale distributors legally so. 

Charles 

I kind of. 

Charles 

Turned it from just like a fun hobby into a summer job. 

Charles 

And then. 

Charles 

Yeah, I also like I collect data and spreadsheets. 

Charles 

Every single time I go out like water temperatures, all the different locations like take notes like kind of bait. 

Charles 

I use how many lobsters I. 

Charles 

Get like that. 

Charles 

Then I can learn over time like what bottom conditions like rocky versus grass. 

Charles 

At what times of the year is which zones better for lobstering? 

Charles 

So I tried to? 

Charles 

Use that as well. 

Kamila 

Alright, so let’s start from the very beginning number one. 

 Kamila 

I have a question that has nothing related to extracurriculars. 

Kamila 

Does a lobster swim? 

Kamila 

Like how does it get into the trap? 

Kamila 

I don’t how does it move around. 

Charles 

So they kind of crawl in the bond they’re crustaceans and bottom feeders. 

Charles 

They just kind of basically eat whatever, and so they don’t swim like they can kind of do a thing with their tail, where they can flap in a defence and then. 

Charles 

Zoom through the water a little bit. 

Charles 

But yeah, they’re not swimming and then. 

Kamila 

So you just like keep the traps and they just like you keep them for like a long time and then like eventually they like float in. 

Charles 

Yeah, you go and. 

Charles 

Check the traps like every three days. 

Charles 

And also this just remind me of another extracurricular. 

Charles 

I had I gave a. 

Charles 

TEDx talk in my school? 

Charles 

Uhm, and it was actually about like lobstering. 

Charles 

My connect with nature. 

Charles 

And then also another thing to do with lobstering was I created like with this entrepreneurship program at my school. 

Charles 

Last spring I started this. 

Charles 

Uhm, like. 

Charles 

Mini website company startup thingy called like Lobster. 

Charles 

Lift where it’s come. 

Charles 

Basically one big problem with lobster traps is there’s that rope that stretches the surface. 

Charles 

Of the buoy. 

Charles 

And one problem is that, like North Atlantic right whales. 

Charles 

Uh, have a tendency to like get tangled up in those lines and that can be really bad for their population so. 

Charles 

Basically, lobster lift was this like. 

Charles 

Kind of my attempt to. 

Charles 

Create like a lineless lobster trap where the GUI stays in the bottom. 

Charles 

Of the trap. 

Charles 

And there’s like Ruby stuff when you’re trying. 

Charles 

To pull it up. 

Charles 

So that way there’s no line stretching in between and like no wildlife or like marine life can get tangled up and die in it. 

Charles 

So it’s been like a pretty big problem that’s happening. 

Charles 

There’s like legislation going. 

Charles 

On in Maine about it right now. 

Charles 

Yeah, that’s another thing. 

Kamila 

OK, so. 

Kamila 

Thank you for mentioning that we’ll get to those after like I finished my questions with your lobster business so you said for the first three years you just did it for like like you said recreationally. 

Kamila 

So like when you catch the lobsters, are you able to like take them for yourself and like eat them? 

Speaker 4 

Yeah, so there’s. 

Charles 

I mean, you’re not. 

Charles 

Most of the lobsters that you catch, you’re actually throwing back because first of all, if it’s a female that’s pregnant called an egger, or it ’cause they have like. 

Charles 

A bunch of like thousands of black eggs underneath their tails and you put them back because that’s healthy for the population. 

Charles 

And also if the watch is too small, which is less than 3.25 inches from, like the eye sockets at the end of the abdomen. 

Charles 

Then you also throw back these. 

Charles 

Then it’s like too young and small you. 

Charles 

Wanna let it? 

Charles 

Continue to live and grow. 

Charles 

And then also. 

Speaker 4 

If the officers too big. 

Charles 

Over 5 inches from that same like I thought the measurement then you also. 

Charles 

Have to throw. 

Charles 

It back ’cause that means lobster is live so long that it must have like. 

Charles 

The right genetic material to survive. 

Charles 

And you want to kind. 

Charles 

Of keep those strong genes in. 

Charles 

The gene pool for the future. 

Kamila 

OK, and then once you started selling like were you selling to local restaurants in your area? 

Speaker 4 

Uhm no. 

Speaker 4 

So I sold to a, uh, a wholesale distributor where it’s this little. 

Speaker 4 

It’s called Little Harbor lobster. 

Charles 

They have a like a doc. 

Charles 

I just pull my boat up there, bring all officers in, they waive them and then they pay you and. 

Charles 

You go so. 

Charles 

You typically get. 

Charles 

Uhm, during the season. 

 Charles 

The prices fluctuate, but you’re getting like. 

Charles 

Uhm, at the start it’s a bit higher, like maybe. 

Charles 

$8.00 per pound. 

Charles 

Uh, and then as like. 

Charles 

By anchor summer it can go down if it’s like six or five. 

Charles 

Drink Ovid. 

Charles 

The prices were hit pretty bad because no lobsters were going to. 

Charles 

China and then. 

Charles 

The Canadian markets just kind of like went S and overflowed the East Coast so prices dropped off. 

Charles 

But yeah, this past summer they were. 

Kamila 

Good this lobsters are expensive. 

Kamila 

I’m sure you made quite a a good amount of money. 

Charles 

Yeah, I mean the price they charge the restaurants. 

Charles 

Are a lot. 

Charles 

Of a premium on what you get wholesale when you’re just like originally selling to the dealer, who then sells the restaurant from there. 

Kamila 

Oh OK, OK alright so you also said that you like when you go out you take measurements of like water temperature and like where you caught the lobsters like where there is more like of an abundance of them. 

Kamila 

When you do that, are you just doing that for your own like? 

Kamila 

Purposes or are you actually giving that data to like other people to analyze? 

Speaker 4 

Uhm yeah, so all. 

Charles 

That data is actually for myself. 

Charles 

I also track like how many Eggers there are, the location, how many shorts so so I can kind of like get a gauge for like what areas have? 

Charles 

What kind of lobsters, and where the lobsters are moving around. 

Charles 

And also just ’cause it’s kind of cool to see how things change year over year. 

Charles 

If I can like if the population is declining or going up or like what’s going on with the water temperatures year over year. 

In popular 

Charles 

But there is actually not. 

Charles 

They mentioned it, uh, and now they’re like. 

Charles 

Wave data entrance into, like the National Division of Marine. 

Charles 

Is they have like a system set up where all the lobstermen commercially are meant to like input their catches for the summer. 

Charles 

So I also put data in there, but. 

Charles 

That’s just more basic. 

Charles 

You only report like the pounds of lobster that you sell to the dealer and like. 

Charles 

The general area which you caught it, which for me is just like within a mile of shore. 

Charles 

So it’s really basic, but yeah. 

Kamila 

And then on your college app, did you just basically write down a very small version of what you told me? 

Kamila 

Like start, did it for six years, got my license here like sold it here. 

Charles 

Yeah, uhm, so I think I just wrote down. 

Charles 

Like commercial lobstermen for the past four years sells to commercial and private dealers. 

Charles 

And I think I also mentioned I have like an e-mail list for private dealers ’cause obviously so I have like a bunch of like friends or just like people from Marblehead. 

Charles 

If they hear about me then they like put them on my. 

Charles 

E-mail list 

Charles 

And then I’ll send out an e-mail like I. 

Charles 

Have like. 

Charles 

60 lobsters in my keeper trap. 

Charles 

Right now, if anyone wants. 

Charles 

Them let me know and then people respond, and ’cause obviously you get better prices. 

Charles 

If you’re selling directly to people rather than to the wholesale distributor who, then? 

Charles 

I like Alexa Premium and. 

Charles 

Then sells the. 

Charles 

Plus you’re kind of taking out the. 

Charles 

Middleman by doing that. 

Kamila 

Yeah, alright, yes that’s really cool. 

Kamila 

Well I’m hearing a lot of like your friend Tyler he was like. 

Kamila 

He says something was fine and so I was like oh wow, you. 

Kamila 

Guys are. 

Kamila 

Really like amazing with what you guys do with your extracurriculars. 

Kamila 

Alright, can you go a little bit more into the entrepreneurship program? 

Kamila 

So like exactly what it what it is and did you say it was? 

Kamila 

Like affiliated with your school. 

Charles 

Yeah, it’s called the the Ryan Shaw entrepreneurship program named after one person who did the entrepreneurship program and then unfortunately passed away. 

Charles 

I think in college from a rare disease user graduate from the prep, so it’s named in his honor. 

Charles 

It’s run by actually my economics teacher right now and he’s a really good guy. 

Charles 

Very knowledgeable, but it’s basically. 

Charles 

It’s about kind of taking an idea from like. 

Charles 

Like the conceptualization phase to. 

Charles 

Like putting up a mock, uh, Shark Tank trial and at the end trying to like pitch the idea? 

Charles 

It’s a a group of like imaginary investors to see. 

Charles 

Like if they would choose your company for a investment. 

Kamila 

Is this like a club where you have different positions like treasury, like Secretary and stuff? 

Kamila 

Or was it more like just a program? 

Charles 

No, it’s not a a student run club. 

Charles 

It’s like an actual program. 

Charles 

Yeah, but met after school just in the spring last. 

Charles 

Like one or 

Kamila 

OK, and I won’t have you elaborate ’cause you did tell us like your idea and what you did with that. 

Charles 

Two days a week. 

Kamila 

So one last thing you did mention with extracurriculars is a TEDx to your school. 

Kamila 

So I’m I’m sure a lot of people know what TEDx is. 

Kamila 

But like, can you explain like why you were selected if or if you asked to do in what you talked about and like the preparations? 

Kamila 

Or that? 

Charles 

Yeah, so first I go back to the entrepreneurship thing briefly, ’cause I actually they continued it throughout the summer. 

Charles 

Then I like create a website and I built a prototype one that could like go down and release the buoy. 

Charles 

Up so I and I have like I made like a little website in like a YouTube video where you can see the like. 

Charles 

Underwater buoy things. 

Charles 

I like to go pro up. 

Charles 

To it as hazardly? 

Charles 

Uhm, yeah, that was bad and would you just ask me about the the Ted X? 

Kamila 

These headaches. 

Speaker 4 

Uh, yeah, so that was. 

Speaker 4 

Uhm it was. 

Charles 

Less focusing on lobstering more just like. 

Charles 

On my relationship with the ocean and then also like. 

Speaker 4 

The theme of the. 

Charles 

Conference was kinship, so I kind of talked about. 

Charles 

How come all the time I spend on the water kind of strengthened my relationship with my dad ’cause he would come out a lot of times with me during the summer? 

Charles 

So it’s kind of just like a. 

Charles 

Good bonding experience like serene early in the morning 5:00 AM. 

Charles 

The water splashes like us two out there checking traps. 

Charles 

It’s a good time. 

Kamila 

And did you you just presented to your school? 

Kamila 

Was it like a they selected students to tell their stories? 

Charles 

Yeah, you just like I think it started in October. 

Charles 

You just put like like your pitch Friday and then they. 

Charles 

Choose you or not. 

Charles 

I think almost everyone gets chosen and then they partnered. 

Charles 

You up with. 

Charles 

An alumni from the prep who’s like notable in some way to help you like design your speech and give you tips on how to perform it. 

Charles 

I was with. 

Charles 

A guy named art coviello. 

Charles 

It was like a, uh, a CEO of a cyber security. 

Charles 

Company for a while, so he’s a. 

Speaker 4 

Pretty much remarkable. 

Charles 

Guy and he definitely gave me a lot of good advice and just like speaking in general and working on my Ted talk so. 

Kamila 

And with this Ted talk like. 

Kamila 

What you said you mentioned it as an extracurricular, so when you when you were writing on your college app, did you write like it took like a month to prepare this speech, like what was like the process for you that you actually wrote down on your college application? 

Charles 

Uhm, yeah, I think I don’t know if I actually went to how. 

Charles 

Long it took me. 

Charles 

It was kind of rigs as I. 

Charles 

I think the first time we ended up doing the Ted talk twice because the first time we did it some guy in like the tech who messed up the speakers that like our voices sounded really bad. 

Charles 

Someday let’s come back in again and like redo the whole thing. 

Charles 

Just kind of a drag. 

Charles 

But it ended up working out. 

Charles 

See, I think. 

Charles 

I I just listed like the amount of hours you’ve dedicated to it, or is that? 

Charles 

What, yeah, I think that’s on the application. 

Kamila 

Alright, alright so I mean I feel like I rushed through the entrepreneurship program, but can we, just like do a little bit more elaboration so you said you like had this idea? 

Kamila 

You’re going to pitch this idea, and you made a website and like you showed how it worked. 

Kamila 

Did your idea actually work out? 

Speaker 4 

Uhm yeah so. 

Charles 

I was working with two other guys on this as well. 

Charles 

I was like the initial person who came up with the. 

Charles 

Idea, but then they’re. 

Charles 

Both in the program they like partnered up with me as a group of three. 

Charles 

And and yeah, so I made the prototype, made a website. 

Charles 

We also reached out to like some actual lobster men or and a lobster woman and like asked them if they thought the idea was feasible. 

Charles 

So we got some good feedback from them. 

Speaker 4 

Obviously, like all. 

Charles 

The hardest things with the lineless traps is that. 

Charles 

But when, like big commercial people. 

Charles 

Which makes up like a majority of the traps in the water. 

Charles 

They don’t just have like single traps connected to buoys, they have what’s called a troll of traps underwater, or it’s like 10 traps or even sometimes 20 all hooked up to like 2 bullies on either end and then like the traps linked together on the bottom. 

Charles 

So it’s hard. 

Charles 

When you like. 

Charles 

We don’t have buoys up here then one commercial person can like later trap over another person. 

Charles 

Does that make sense? 

Charles 

Like on the bottom? 

Charles 

Like if these are two lines? 

Charles 

If they get. 

Charles 

Crossed over and then when ’cause you like? 

Charles 

Can’t see where. 

 Charles 

The buoys are to like judge where. 

Charles 

Those traps are underwater. 

Charles 

So that’s one of the hardest things to. 

Charles 

Uh, kind of like address, and that’s I think something at the. 

Charles 

Uh, like lineless lobstering community is trying to cope with right now. 

Charles 

Like if you’re trying to do like GPS, but. 

Speaker 4 

The whole point. 

Charles 

Is like you’re trying to still make lobstering profitable and you don’t want like skyrocket, lobster price or anything so it needs. 

Charles 

To be like pretty. 

Charles 

Cheap technology that’s gonna like continue to work and. 

Charles 

Uh, not like. 

Charles 

Required a bunch of maintenance or anything. 

Kamila 

Oh, are those like yellow things you see in the ocean like those like little like looks like tear. 

Kamila 

Droplets, is that what that is? 

Charles 

Yeah, yeah those are gooeys. 

Ah, for. 

Kamila 

Is it just for lobstering or is it like in general? 

Charles 

So yeah, I mean. 

Kamila 

There she goes all the time. 

Kamila 

I’m like what are they floating in the middle of the ocean for? 

Charles 

Yeah, most of them are are lobstering yeah. 

Kamila 

Oh OK, OK, you learn something new every day, all right? 

Kamila 

So we’ve gone through quite a bit of extra curriculars. 

Kamila 

Are there any other major extracurriculars you want to talk about? 

Charles 

Uhm, yeah. 

Charles 

I think when you mentioned Tyler talking about finance, I’ve also done a lot with that. 

Charles 

The past like. 

Charles 

Six or seven years I’ve had my own accounts. 

Charles 

Uh, like I’m pretty active. 

Charles 

I did a, uh, a program at Upenn for like 3 weeks. 

Charles 

Uhm, in like finance and economics? 

Charles 

Last summer 

Charles 

And also I’m just like always like reading books like the intelligent investor by Benjamin Graham and like it’s just kind of a cool thing to learn about, especially when you’re young. 

Charles 

’cause if you start things properly now then you can kind. 

Charles 

Of like save yourself up. 

Charles 

For later not having to worry about money. 

Kamila 

All right and you said you had this. 

Kamila 

This is even longer than Tyler I think. 

Kamila 

’cause I think he said his dad was in investing but he didn’t start his own account until like. 

Kamila 

Three years ago, like seriously. 

Kamila 

Like three years ago, maybe four years ago. 

Kamila 

So were you doing like the same thing as him? 

Kamila 

Like investing money and stuff like what exactly were you doing? 

Charles 

Yeah, I’ve done it a bit longer than him. 

Charles 

His dad is a big guy in finance. 

Charles 

I’ve talked to him before. 

Charles 

He’s a remarkable person. 

Charles 

Came from like South Africa and everything. 

Charles 

Ah, but yeah, so with me I just opened. 

Charles 

You’re not like legally allowed to have your personal account until you’re 18, right? 

Charles 

It was opened like. 

Speaker 4 

It’s called a. 

Charles 

Custodial account so it’s joint where your parent is like a signatory on it, and they technically own the account, but then it says that like. 

Charles 

Automatically transfers into your name once you’re 21 or whatever a certain age is, so. 

Charles 

I did that. 

Charles 

Uh, yeah, like. 

Charles 

Probably like 2017 or something maybe before then. 

Kamila 

And are you like investing into like stocks or something? 

Kamila 

What exactly are you doing with the money there? 

Charles 

Yeah, it’s three different accounts. 

Charles 

All of the kind of. 

Charles 

Like different approaches to kind of like, see how each one performs under different market conditions. 

Charles 

So I have one where I focus more on like growth sets. 

Charles 

Like small to mid cap companies, growing earnings and revenue that seem to have like promising prospects in the long term future but and those did really well in like 2020 ISH but. 

Charles 

They also trade out extreme premiums where like a lot of these companies are way overvalued based on, like you know, out of money they’re actually bringing in. 

Charles 

So like. 

Charles 

You look at the price to earnings ratio. 

Charles 

Of some of these? 

Charles 

Of these, during like the whole GameStop phase and stuff and it’s just ridiculous. 

Charles 

Like these people are really investing in trash. 

Charles 

But yeah, then I also opened up an account that focused more on like the Warren Buffett. 

Charles 

Philosophy of stocks, which is value investing? 

Charles 

Where you’re trying to like pick up high quality companies that are a bit more mature than growth stocks and they might not be like. 

Charles 

Growing earnings at crazy paces, but they’re like, really. 

Charles 

Cheap based on the amount of money that they. 

Charles 

Like and and they often like. 

Charles 

Uh, distribute cash. 

Charles 

And dividends and stuff like that so. 

Charles 

That’s what I did more recently, and then I also have a Roth IRA Ray, which is like a tax exempt retirement account. 

Kamila 

That’s good and you would. 

Kamila 

I mean, obviously you do it, but like getting into finance when you’re younger is really beneficial, or at least having your own account like you. 

Kamila 

’cause I do as well like under your parents name, but like at least. 

Kamila 

It’s there for you. 

Kamila 

Yeah, alright, so let’s get into like the actual college application. 

Kamila 

You know all this so when you. 

Kamila 

You entered high school and you said there wasn’t tremendous pressure from your parents. 

Kamila 

So like, uh. 

Kamila 

We’ve like a very prestigious elite school, but coming into high school, what year or around what time did you actually start thinking seriously, like? 

Kamila 

I mean, this can be anything. 

Kamila 

Oh, I should start making my college list so I should start thinking about like or learning about the college process. 

Kamila 

What exactly do I have to do and stuff? 

Kamila 

So when did you start thinking about the actual college process? 

Kamila 

Which is like picking colleges, touring colleges and actually writing your essays. 

Charles 

Yeah, I mean I wasn’t like. 

Charles 

Fanatic about politics. 

Charles 

Kind of just like. 

Charles 

It’s still like enjoying high school. 

Charles 

I wasn’t kind of like thinking too far into the future. 

Charles 

Uhm, I knew I was like capable of getting. 

Charles 

Into a pretty good. 

Charles 

School or I knew I like. 

Charles 

Wanted to go to like a school where I’d be surrounded by like smart people on summer. 

Charles 

And I guess, yeah, I probably started making. 

Charles 

A list around. 

Charles 

Like this time last year I was thinking like essay Tees and Stuff. 

Charles 

I know I I wasn’t ever in like the boat where there’s some people who apply to like over 20 schools or something crazy. 

Kamila 

Your friends that I’ve interviewed. 

Charles 

Yeah, yeah we have one friend named Ents who went kinda crazy. 

Charles 

Or yeah he applied to like. 

Charles 

24 I think or something. 

Charles 

This sounds like a nightmare. 

Charles 

I can’t imagine filling out that many applications. 

Charles 

Yeah, and then I did. 

Charles 

I applied EB to Duke and early action to University of Virginia or my dad one. 

Charles 

Both schools I had toured. 

Speaker 4 

Those the only two I applied to. 

Charles 

And I’m getting into Duke. 

Charles 

I I was like I had other applications repaired. 

Charles 

Regular decision if I didn’t get to Duke that I would have sent out probably another. 

Charles 

Like 10 or so in that like between that December 15th and December 31st deadline, so I like had a. 

Charles 

A list they are like a doomsday list, so I don’t get to do this is my like strategy this this this? 

Charles 

But yeah, yeah. 

Charles 

Yeah, that was my overall thing. Try to get the e-card in and if that doesn’t work out go from there. 

Kamila 

Alright, so before we get into your actual application, which is mainly I’m just talking about your personal statement, why did you choose Duke? 

Kamila 

What were you looking for in college and what like boxes did Duke check off and you said University of Virginia, ’cause your dad is an alum from there but like actually do? 

Kamila 

Like what about it was so appealing to you. 

Charles 

Yeah, so I guess one thing was location. 

Charles 

I kind of wanted to get a bit away from home, but I like California far so I thought Duke was. 

Charles 

Kind of. 

Charles 

It offered a way to see a bit of. 

Charles 

A different part of the world going to the South. 

Charles 

Uh, while also offering me like the closeness where worst thing comes to worse I can. 

Charles 

Drive help and like. 

Charles 

A full day. 

Charles 

Like an 8 hour drive or something. 

Charles 

So yeah, that was location and with that comes. 

Charles 

Temperature as well. 

Charles 

At Duke you can play like outdoor tennis year round on the club team which. 

Charles 

Is pretty cool. 

Charles 

And then I guess another aspect is kinda like the social scene and the the sports. 

Charles 

Did you copy said they have a really good basketball team and and that’s one thing that kind of like fascinated me. 

Charles 

I love the. 

Charles 

Idea of like all the people gathering together to watch the big games they have. 

Charles 

Tenting during the games against UNC, their rivals wherever unlike camps out in front of the. 

Charles 

Coach K stadium. 

Charles 

Yeah, that’s another cool thing. 

Kamila 

Uhm, were there any like programs or majors that appealed to you? 

Charles 

Well, I guess. 

Kamila 

’cause I mean, Duke is a top school, so it’s like a top and a lot of things. 

Kamila 

But were there any anything specific like academically? 

Charles 

Yeah, so in academics. 

Charles 

Uhm, we’re very strong in economics and finance, which was. 

Charles 

Uhm, one thing I I think I want to study in college is economics, uhm? 

Charles 

The other thing I’m thinking about is physics. 

Charles 

Like pairing physical economics together. 

Charles 

In physics they don’t like. 

Charles 

Like top two. 

Charles 

In the like nation or never. 

Charles 

I mean, it’s a good school. 

Charles 

There it’s like a top 30. 

Charles 

Program or something like. 

Charles 

Any of these schools are gonna have pretty like similar like you’re gonna you’re gonna learn pretty similar stuff at any of these, like big name schools. 

Charles 

And then also another thing I found. 

Charles 

Cool was the UM. 

Charles 

They have like a really. 

Charles 

Cool marine biology. 

Charles 

UM, like campus. 

Charles 

Come over, it’s like near the Outer Banks. 

Charles 

It’s not the other banks I’m forgetting the name of the town, but. 

Charles 

They have like a. 

Charles 

Uh, like a side campus right on? 

Charles 

The water they every go. 

Charles 

For a semester, if you’re. 

Charles 

Studying out marine life. 

Charles 

Which I thought was cool, ah. 

Charles 

I’m not sure if I’m going to go that direction yet, but. 

Charles 

I’m definitely like keeping it open as a possibility. 

Kamila 

And have you visited Duke like? 

Kamila 

Did you go on a tour to like finalize your decision? 

Charles 

Yeah, I visited Duke with my dad in last. 

Charles 

August, like, uh before school started. 

Charles 

And and I have a a, a cousin who works at the Duke hospital. 

Charles 

There she went to Duke, so that was like one of the ways I was introduced into ’cause I have two presidents who went there. 

Charles 

And yeah, so she like showed us around a bit and we could also crash at their place. 

Charles 

So it’s kind of convenient there. 

Kamila 

Did you go to the dining hall there? 

Kamila 

Because I’ve been to Duke and their food is like. 

Charles 

It’s ridiculous. 

Charles 

I actually really like part of my why did you guys say about that? 

Charles 

Was like how. 

Charles 

I opened it up about the food like they. 

Charles 

Have like crepe stations and like. 

Charles 

Italian food is all that like. 

Charles 

I think it was ridiculous, yeah. 

And it’s so. 

Kamila 

Well done like I’ve been to colleges and like the food and everyone talks, trash trash, college food. 

Kamila 

This was like restaurant level like this is whole good. 

Charles 

I know, yeah. 

Kamila 

Oh my God, I just had to go I I needed to relate. 

Kamila 

To someone like. 

Kamila 

Food readable at Duke. 

Kamila 

Yeah, let’s go into your personal statement now, which is like the actual application and you only did apply to actually and you only did really apply to Duke and. 

Kamila 

University of Virginia. 

Kamila 

So with your personal statement, what exactly did you write about? 

Kamila 

Like and I’m assuming you had 650 words, so in those 650 words, what topic did you choose? Well, I question and then what did you actually write about? 

Charles 

Yeah, so I wrote about, uhm, I like focused in on a little like story from lobstering. 

Speaker 4 

Or it was? 

Charles 

One time during the summer where my. 

Speaker 4 

Life whole book. 

Charles 

And it was about kind of like. 

Charles 

It was like both a specific. 

Charles 

Story about fixing the live well and like that journey, but then also like what that represents and. 

Charles 

So I I was like talking about like overcoming obstacles like press or mirroring. 

Kamila 

Can you explain what a live well is? 

Charles 

Like not giving up. 

Charles 

Oh yeah, so it’s basically like it’s the. 

Charles 

Uh, like a holding tank where I put the lobsters. 

Charles 

Once I catch them before I put them, like when you drive around their boat and you get lobster, you put into the keeper tank or like the live well or it has a, uh livewell pump running that brings like new seawater that’s oxygenated into the container. 

Charles 

So that keeps them alive for your before you’re heading in. 

Charles 

From the end of the day. 

Charles 

Right? 

Charles 

So yeah, basically without that it’s like pretty hard to do lobstering ’cause then they can’t like or like what do you meant to do with their? 

Charles 

Lobsters you. 

Charles 

Can’t just like even a bucket they’ll suffocate so. 

Charles 

Yeah, that was kind of like what I. 

Charles 

Focused on there. 

Charles 

Uh, at one point in the summer when it broke and then, like I went through a bunch of stuff trying to fix it, and then eventually I did. 

Kamila 

All right, all right. 

Kamila 

So and then you did talk like your YSU focused a little bit about food for Duke. 

Kamila 

For the other supplementals with the Duke, can you give us like, uh, to the best of your memory? 

Kamila 

What were the problems for Duke and then how did you approach them? 

Kamila 

And what did you write about for the supplemental essays? 

Charles 

Uhm, yeah, so I think there’s. 

Charles 

3 supplements I answered, two of them was that I think only one was required so the warm hours required was like the generic. 

Charles 

Why Duke? 

Charles 

Any, uh thousand where I like opened about UM? 

Charles 

The food, and then I think I like. 

Charles 

Went on to a bit more like specific things I like about and some like. 

Charles 

I I don’t if I chose like class, I’d be interested in or something. 

Charles 

I think I mentioned like a professor or something. 

Charles 

Yeah, and then the other supplement I answered was. 

Speaker 4 

It was about, UM. 

Charles 

Like something unique about, yeah, I think it was like gendered. 

Charles 

If you would like something or like with something unique perspective you offer. 

Charles 

Like if it was like race or gender or something like that I. 

Kamila 

I hate those kinds of questions. 

Charles 

Yeah, I kinda I push it kinda I. 

Speaker 1 

You leave. 

Charles 

I can kind of dead on it, so like. 

Charles 

I don’t offer much like. 

Charles 

Uh, like racial diversity or I said like straight out, just like I come from like a pretty good background. 

Charles 

I was very fortunate to have like a. 

Charles 

Uh, a warm home to like be raised and everything like I’ve. 

Charles 

Had it pretty easy, but then I said one unique, UM. 

Charles 

Like kind of a. 

Charles 

Like opinion or experience that I do present. 

Charles 

To the Jewish community. 

Charles 

Is how I was raised to hate Duke in basketball because my dad went to UVA so they’re kind of like rivals in basketball. 

Charles 

I talked about how like. 

Charles 

During March Mass every year my. 

Charles 

Dad would always be. 

Charles 

Like sparring with my cousin to do, ’cause like they’re against each other and all that. 

Charles 

So I went from kind of that shift from being an enemy to due to wanting to go to do so. 

Kamila 

Yeah, that’s an interesting perspective right there, all right so. 

Kamila 

Let’s go on to like the last thing before I wrap up here. 

Kamila 

So what last thing is advice which is just any advice you want to give at all so you’re not in college yet, so you can’t give advice on like actually entering college. 

Kamila 

But for those who are in high school right now? 

Kamila 

You can give like any advice you want. 

Kamila 

This can be general life advice, something that’s specific to just our age, as like you know teenagers or something specific to the college process. 

Kamila 

So like what is the one piece of advice you would give right now to someone who’s entering high school? 

Kamila 

You know, starting college apps, whatever it may be. 

Speaker 4 

Uhm yeah so. 

Charles 

As one thing would be like just focusing on like staying healthy, like getting sleep and stuff like that getting exercise. 

Charles 

’cause like when you treat your body well, then you’re kind of like mind follows that. 

Charles 

Also, just like folks and relationships friends in high school like only now, like as a senior male thing. 

Charles 

Oh my God in like a few months. 

Charles 

Going off and all these people, I’ve spent the past since I was in middle school. 

Charles 

Sometimes seven years was wrong to be kind of like dispersing across the country, so so kind of folks on those relationships cherish them with their last name. 

Charles 

Yeah yeah, that’d be 2 main ones. 

Kamila 

That’s great, I’ve never heard someone actually say that about relationships at all on this podcast. 

Kamila 

I’m like 80 episodes in, so thank you very much for that. 

Kamila 

Alright, thank you very much and have a good evening to you. 

Charles 

Thank you nice meeting you too. 

Kamila 

That’s it for my episode with Charles I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. 

Kamila 

Make sure to subscribe so you know in future episodes are released and check out my blog college reality check. 

Kamila 

Com for other college related content.